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December 20, 2019

A Critical First Step Before Financial Advisors Start Marketing

Advisors regularly approach us about driving more traffic to their website… so they can generate more leads and, in turn, sign more clients. And while it’s true that more traffic might mean more leads and more clients, most Advisor websites (or brochures or other marketing materials) do a good job of getting people to take any kind of positive action toward engaging that Advisor.

But getting more traffic to the business doesn’t address the one of the most important questions that every Financial Advisor must answer… what sets me and my practice apart in the market? 

To put it in the language of a potential customer, “why should I choose to do business with you versus any and every other option – including doing nothing at all?”

This concept of knowing why somebody choses you as their Advisor, when they could decide to work with someone else is called the unique selling proposition or “USP.” It communicates to your prospects and clients the factors that differentiate you from others in your industry or performing a similar role as you elsewhere. The USP gives people a reason to consider you over others.

The reason it is so crucial for an Advisor to understand is that it (the USP) is the unique position that your practice has in the mind of your potential client. Whether it is on your website or in your printed materials, the USP is a real reflection of what happens when a client or prospect arrives in your office.

Often, when the concept of USP is discussed, the conversation turns to the subject of “branding.” And even though the concepts are both very important, a USP is something entirely different from the idea of “branding.” In the simplest terms, branding is what you would say about your business. It is the image that you want to project to your customers and prospects.

The USP, on the other hand, has nothing to do with your image; it is a statement in words about what really matters to your prospects and customers. For instance, the retail giant Walmart’s USP is, “low prices every day.” And that USP is evident in everything that the company does in its advertising and promotion.

Just as companies like Walmart or FedEx or Domino’s Pizza do, Advisors need to communicate the USP in every place they have interaction with clients and prospects; online, offline, inside and outside of the office.

Let’s have another look at Walmart’s USP: “low prices every day.” It tells us a lot about how they’ve chosen to communicate who they are for and what they deliver. Close observation will make clear five elements of an effective USP:

  1. The USP is concise and answers the question of why someone should do business with them and not their competition.
  2. The benefit is quantified. You can get low prices every day, according to Walmart.
  3. A good USP is specific in what kinds of quality, service or selection you will get.
  4. The USP states openly what void in the marketplace the company is filling.
  5. The USP matters most to a company’s prospects and customers.

As an Advisor, crafting your USP should start with your clients, and address the unique value you bring them in a way that they won’t get from any of the other 300k Advisors they might select you over.

That means, that your USP needs to be a great deal more specific than “I’m an Independent Advisor who provides clients with comprehensive financial planning.” 

Consider…

  1. Who are my ideal clients?
  2. What do they value quantitatively?
  3. What do they value qualitatively?

Making sure that you are getting good traffic to your website is a good thing. However, what you say to prospects when they visit is equally as important.

One of the things that we do best is to make sure that your message is effectively communicated throughout your website and in all of your online communications.

Request a call with us so that we can begin combining this powerful USP concept with our knowledge and skill in bringing you traffic.